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Publication numberUS20020045861 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/921,309
Publication dateApr 18, 2002
Filing dateAug 3, 2001
Priority dateAug 16, 2000
Also published asCA2354771A1, CN1217710C, CN1340364A, DE60107333D1, DE60107333T2, EP1186311A2, EP1186311A3, EP1186311B1, US6966895
Publication number09921309, 921309, US 2002/0045861 A1, US 2002/045861 A1, US 20020045861 A1, US 20020045861A1, US 2002045861 A1, US 2002045861A1, US-A1-20020045861, US-A1-2002045861, US2002/0045861A1, US2002/045861A1, US20020045861 A1, US20020045861A1, US2002045861 A1, US2002045861A1
InventorsRobert Tribe
Original AssigneeTribe Robert James
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Syringe pumps
US 20020045861 A1
Abstract
A syringe pump has a motor rotating a leadscrew to drive a plunger head actuator along it. The head actuator engages the plunger of a syringe and moves the plunger along the syringe barrel to dispense medication. An optical encoder mounted on the leadscrew is rotated by the motor to produce a pulse output. A control unit times the interval between the pulses and compares these timings with a stored value representative of a predetermined multiple of the minimum time. If the head actuator is obstructed, the speed of rotation of the motor is slowed and the time interval between pulses rises. When this exceeds the stored value, the control unit stops the drive to the head actuator and generates an alarm.
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Claims(14)
What I claim is:
1. A syringe pump adapted to receive a syringe having a plunger movable along a barrel, the pump comprising: a plunger head actuator; an electric motor; and a drive mechanism between said motor and said plunger head actuator to move said plunger head actuator and hence said plunger along said barrel, wherein the pump is arranged to detect an obstruction to movement of said head actuator by monitoring change in speed of said motor.
2. A pump according to claim 1, wherein the pump includes a device arranged to produce pulses at a frequency dependent on the speed of said motor.
3. A pump according to claim 2, wherein the pump includes a timer for timing intervals between said pulses.
4. A pump according to claim 3, including a store containing information as to the minimum measured time of said intervals, and a comparator operable to compare the time of intervals of subsequent pulses with said minimum to determine whether said intervals exceed a predetermined multiple of said minimum time.
5. A pump according to claim 2, wherein the pump includes a shaft coupled with said motor, wherein said device is an encoder connected with said shaft, and wherein said encoder produces said pulses.
6. A pump according to claim 5, wherein said encoder is an optical encoder.
7. A pump according to claim 1, wherein the pump is arranged to stop movement of said head actuator when obstruction is detected.
8. A pump according to claim 1, wherein the pump is arranged to generate an alarm signal when obstruction is detected.
9. A syringe pump adapted to receive a syringe having a plunger movable along a barrel, the pump comprising an electric motor; a shaft rotated by the motor; a plunger head actuator driven by said shaft to displace said plunger along said barrel; and an encoder coupled with said shaft to produce an output dependent on movement of said shaft, and wherein the pump is arranged to detect obstruction to movement of said head actuator from said output of said encoder.
10. A syringe pump adapted to receive a syringe having a plunger movable along a barrel, the pump comprising: an electric motor; a leadscrew rotated by said motor; a plunger head actuator movable along said leadscrew on rotation of said leadscrew so as to move said plunger along said barrel; an encoder mounted with said leadscrew and rotated with said leadscrew, said encoder providing a pulse output indicative of speed of rotation of the motor; a control unit arranged to time intervals between pulses of said pulse output, to determine from the time of said intervals when the speed of said motor falls as a result of obstruction to movement of said actuator and to provide an output accordingly.
11. A method of detecting obstruction to movement of a plunger head actuator in a syringe pump, comprising the steps of monitoring the speed of a motor driving said plunger head actuator and detecting when said speed falls as a result of obstruction to movement of said plunger head actuator.
12. A method according to claim 11, including the steps of producing pulses at a frequency dependent on motor speed and timing the interval between pulses to detect when motor speed falls.
13. A method according to claim 12, including the steps of storing information as to the minimum measured interval between pulses and comparing intervals between subsequent pulses with a predetermined multiple of said minimum interval to determine when said intervals exceed said predetermined multiple of said minimum interval.
14. A method of detecting obstruction to movement of a plunger head actuator in a syringe pump, comprising the steps of: rotating a motor to drive a plunger head actuator; generating a pulsed output from an encoder rotated by said motor; timing intervals between pulses in said output; storing information as to the minimum measured interval between pulses; and comparing intervals between subsequent pulses with a predetermined multiple of said minimum interval to determine when said intervals exceed said predetermined multiple of said minimum interval.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to syringe pumps.

[0002] Syringe pumps are used to supply medication to a patient from a pre-filled syringe via an infusion line. The syringe pump applies a force to the plunger of the syringe to drive medication into the infusion line at a controlled rate. The head of the plunger is engaged by a plunger head actuator that is movable along a leadscrew extending parallel to the axis of the syringe. The head actuator is movable from an extreme position at one end of the pump, where it allows the largest syringe to be loaded into the pump with its plunger fully extended, to an extreme position at the opposite end of the pump, where it fully depresses the plunger of the smallest syringe. There is a risk, when the head actuator is being moved back to its loading position, that the head actuator may trap the user's finger or other objects between the actuator and the pump housing.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] It is an object of the present invention to provide an alternative syringe pump and method of operation.

[0004] According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a syringe pump adapted to receive a syringe of the kind having a plunger movable along a barrel, the pump including a plunger head actuator coupled with an electric motor and operable to move the plunger along the barrel, the pump being arranged to detect obstruction to movement of the head actuator by monitoring change in speed of the motor.

[0005] The pump is preferably arranged to produce pulses at a frequency dependent on motor speed. The pump may be arranged to detect a change in speed of the motor by timing the interval between pulses in which case the pump is preferably arranged to store information as to the minimum measured time of said intervals and to compare the time of subsequent intervals with the minimum to determine whether they exceed a predetermined multiple of said minimum time. The pump preferably includes an encoder rotated by a shaft coupled with the motor, the pulses being derived from the encoder.

[0006] According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a syringe pump adapted to receive a syringe of the kind having a plunger movable along a barrel, the pump including an electric motor, a shaft rotated by the motor, and a plunger head actuator driven by the shaft to displace the plunger along the barrel, the pump including an encoder that produces an output dependent on movement of the shaft, and the pump being arranged to detect obstruction to movement of the head actuator from the output of the encoder.

[0007] The encoder is preferably an optical encoder. The pump is preferably arranged to stop movement of the head actuator and or alternatively to generate an alarm signal when obstruction is detected.

[0008] According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of detecting obstruction to movement of a plunger head actuator in a syringe pump, including the steps of monitoring the speed of a motor driving the plunger head actuator and detecting a fall in speed of the motor indicative of obstruction.

[0009] The method preferably includes the steps of producing pulses at a frequency dependent on motor speed and timing the interval between pulses to detect when motor speed falls. The method may include the steps of storing information as to the minimum measured interval between pulses and comparing the intervals between subsequent pulses with a predetermined multiple of this minimum to determine when they exceed the predetermined multiple of this minimum.

[0010] A syringe pump and its method of operation, according to the present invention, will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011]FIG. 1 is a simplified view of the front of the pump; and

[0012]FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating the effect on motor speed of an obstruction to movement of the plunger head actuator.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0013] The pump includes an outer housing 1 with a recess 2 on its front surface shaped to receive a syringe 3 of conventional kind. The syringe 3 has a cylindrical barrel 30 with an outlet or nose 31 at its forward end and a flange or ear 32 at its rear end. The nose 31 is connected to an infusion line 5 so that a medication liquid in the syringe 3 can be dispensed to a patient via the infusion line, by pushing in the plunger 35.

[0014] The pump has a drive mechanism 7, including a leadscrew 8 driven by an electric stepper motor 9. A plunger head actuator or retainer mechanism 10 engages the head 36 of the plunger 35 and is movable along the leadscrew 8 as it rotates, so as to move the plunger along the barrel 30. Further details of the plunger head actuator are given in GB2352637. The motor 9 is driven by a control unit 11, which receives inputs from a keypad 12, or other user input means, and various sensors (not shown). The control unit 11 also provides an output to a display panel 13. An optical sensor and encoder disc 20 attached with the leadscrew 8 provides an output to the control unit 11 for use in controlling the position and the speed of movement of the plunger head actuator 10. In addition, the control unit 11 uses the output from the encoder 20 to detect an obstruction to movement of the plunger head actuator 10 when the actuator is moved back towards its parked or loading position at the extreme right-hand side of the pump.

[0015] The plunger head actuator 10 is moved rearwardly to this loading position at a relatively fast speed. As illustrated in FIG. 2, it can be seen that the angular velocity V of the motor 9 (and hence the linear speed of the actuator 10) accelerates rapidly initially over time T and then becomes relatively constant as it reaches its maximum speed. This speed continues until the actuator 10 reaches a position close to its end of travel when an end-of-travel sensor (not shown) is tripped and power to the motor 9 is terminated. If, however, there is an obstruction to movement of the actuator 10, such as caused by a user's finger inadvertently placed in the recess 2 to the right of the actuator, the motor speed will drop, as indicated by the broken line in FIG. 2. The control unit 11 rapidly detects this fall in motor speed and responds by stopping supply of power to the motor 9 and by providing an alarm output, such as an audible alarm from a buzzer (not shown) and a legend on the display panel 13.

[0016] The control unit 11 could detect the fall in motor speed by continuously measuring the magnitude of deceleration of the motor 9 and responding if this exceeds a predetermined limit. However, a preferred arrangement has been found to be less complicated. In this, the control unit 11 includes a timer 21, which receives the output of the encoder 20 and measures the time elapsed between each step of the motor. Typically, the motor 9 makes 200 steps per revolution and the encoder disc 20 provides a resolution of 2000 steps per revolution, so the timer 21 times the intervals between groups of 10 steps of the encoder disc in order to measure the time between each motor step. The timer 21 may be a discrete unit, as shown, or the timing function may be carried out by programming of a processor in the control unit 11. The timer 21 stores in a memory 22 information as to the minimum time tmin so far between steps. As each subsequent time interval t is measured, a comparator 23 compares this with the minimum time tmin in the memory 22. If t>n.tmin, where n=8, the control unit 11 determines that the head actuator 10 is obstructed and stops power supply to the motor 9. It will be appreciated that the sensitivity of detection could be altered by choosing a different value for the multiple n. A greater value of n would reduce sensitivity, whereas a smaller value of n would increase sensitivity.

[0017] The present invention enables the pump rapidly to detect an obstruction to movement of the plunger head actuator, thereby preventing injury and damage to the pump, without the need for any additional sensors. It will be appreciated that the invention is not confined to the detection of an obstruction during rearward movement of the actuator while unloading but that it could also, or alternatively, detect an obstruction during forward movement of the actuator while loading.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7351290Jul 17, 2003Apr 1, 2008General Electric CompanyRobotic pen
US7498563 *Jul 23, 2003Mar 3, 2009Deka Products Limited PartnershipOptical displacement sensor for infusion devices
US8776621 *Mar 6, 2009Jul 15, 2014Dionex CorporationFluid sample delivery system and method
US20100224012 *Mar 6, 2009Sep 9, 2010Dionex CorporationFluid sample delivery system and method
US20100304472 *Nov 28, 2008Dec 2, 2010Corestem Co., Ltd.Cell Culture Apparatus and Mass Automatic Cell Culture Device Having It
US20100304473 *Nov 28, 2008Dec 2, 2010Corestem Co., Ltd.Cell Culture Flask and the Cell Culture Device Having it
Classifications
U.S. Classification604/154, 604/187
International ClassificationB05C11/10, F04B9/02, A61M5/172, A61M5/168, A61M5/142, A61M5/145, F04B49/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61M2205/3306, A61M5/172, A61M5/16854, A61M5/1456, A61M5/14546, A61M5/16831
European ClassificationA61M5/168D, A61M5/145B6
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 19, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: SMITHS GROUP PLC, ENGLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TRIBE, ROBERT JAMES;REEL/FRAME:012381/0809
Effective date: 20011030
Jun 1, 2009REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Nov 22, 2009LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Jan 12, 2010FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20091122